We listened to Sam and connected with him around his interests. Getting to know our young clients is really important in supporting them. We applied solution focussed coaching and therapy techniques so that we could develop his awareness of what he is good at. We then built upon those strengths in areas he lacked confidence.
We taught Sam a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique called anchoring. This is really popular with young people as it unlocks their natural resources. With us, Sam discovered that when he was not feeling confident his behaviour was quite threatening. We helped him realise that in those moments all he wanted to do was not feel stupid. Sam learned this through a game we have designed. It’s called “my values” and is always played in context. It helps the child learn that different parts of themselves show up more in different contexts. It teaches them which useful parts of themselves to draw upon when needed.
For example Sam felt he had a footballer’s brain and was smart as a player, but stupid at school. We built upon Sam’s “smarts” and applied them to the school context. We helped him to develop his awareness of his own strengths and potential.
We worked on emotional intelligence with Sam, and he learned that his feelings were messengers, to be utilised, not ignored. This helped him respond better to rising emotions and reveal his own emotional wisdom to himself.
Sam is more confident and knows how to get his confidence back anytime he needs to.
Chloë has never felt loved and has a background of insecure attachment whilst in and out of care. As a teenager she’d been getting into more and more trouble in an attempt to fit in and belong. She had increased her risk taking behaviour and her teachers and guardians were worried about her.
Chloë was very guarded in her first session but she was open enough to give it a go. Our work became about developing her sense of “I’m a good person”. She felt that no one ever believed in her or saw her good side. So she had lost touch with that part of herself and let the world see the Chloë that was defined by her family and her peers.
The saying, “if you hear something often enough, you believe it” applied to Chloë. She had heard too many times that she was “useless, a waste of time and that she didn’t matter”. Over the years of her childhood she had come to feel very insecure about herself and uncertain about who she was.
Our work was based on building her self-esteem. We worked on her non-verbal communication and what her body language was saying to the world. Over time she moved from vulnerable, small, body postures, to a posture that helped her claim her place in the world, a posture that says, “I matter, I’m a good person”.
We shared psychologist Amy Cuddy’s work with Chloë and taught her power posing so that she learned to believe in herself. Our deeper work involved Chloë clearing some hurt and pain from the past so that she could move forward. We gave her practical tools to keep her feeling secure in herself and had a positive brief intervention to clear the deeper issues.
Kyle was attacked by a gang of boys when he was 14. He developed depression and was having flashbacks. He had been given the opportunity of a job and it was going well. But he started to find it hard to go to work. He wanted to hide in his bedroom because he was having flashbacks of the night of the attack. So he began to spiral into drinking, drug taking and gambling to experience release from his mental torture.
When we started working with Kyle he shared with us a lot of his pain, and talked through his fears. Our approach was to clear the trauma first by using a well-researched trauma technique from NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). We then worked on him making small changes. He did well initially but rebounded into drugs and alcohol. We helped him realise that was part of the process of recovery and not to focus on lapses but to learn how to put them behind him and take the next step forward.
Kyle has changed his habits, is holding down his job and had learned practical tools to help him bounce back from setback so that he can keep himself on track towards becoming the young man he wants to be, living the life he wanted. He has learnt how to set attainable goals and to push himself towards what matters in his life, a job and stability.